All 1 Debates between Baroness Flather and Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood

House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Bill [HL]

Debate between Baroness Flather and Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
Friday 12th December 2014

(9 years, 6 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Flather Portrait Baroness Flather (CB)
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My Lords, I should like to say a few words from a selfish point of view. The last time we had three expulsions, all three, unfortunately, were Asian. The amount of backlash one received was enormous. People said, “What have you done? You have done nothing; these people have done this and that, and you do nothing to them”. If they were working for some company they would not be there any more. This approach is long overdue and I am really grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, for bringing it forward. It is hard to say, “Look, there are people in this House who do not follow the rules they should follow”. They are not honourable and should not be in this House.

Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood Portrait Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood (CB)
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My Lords, I should like to put on record my support. I had the honour to serve as the chairman of the Conduct Sub-Committee of the Privileges and Conduct Committee. At Second Reading, I gave strong and firm support to, and welcomed, the Bill. As the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay, has made plain, it would fill the present, most concerning lacuna in our sanctioning powers. Again, I echo the hope that it will never be necessary to exercise these increased powers.

I welcome all the amendments. The first meets the concern expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Finkelstein, in Committee. In its original form, this provision was too narrow and confined only to what is now in proposed paragraph (a) of the amendment. As the noble Lord pointed out, it would fail, for example, to deal with someone who committed perjury in a libel case and it took four years for that perjury to be revealed. That problem is now cured by the amendment. I strongly welcome it and the other two amendments, too.